Cleveland Cavs 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Ranking Top Targets Post-Draft

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJuly 2, 2014

Cleveland Cavs 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Ranking Top Targets Post-Draft

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers should be active in free agency, armed with cap space and a new general manager hungry to improve his team.

    David Griffin is the new GM and has already made a splash by agreeing with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving on a five-year, $90 million contract extension through 2020.

    Now it's time to find Irving a new teammate or two on the free-agent market, where plenty of big names are available.

    Based on recent reports of interest, here are the top seven targets for Cleveland to pursue.

No. 7: Channing Frye, PF, Phoenix Suns

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 blocks, 28.2 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Unrestricted

    Frye chose to hit the market after opting out of the final year of his deal with the Suns.

    Marc Stein of ESPN lists the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as potential suitors for Frye, a stretch 4/5 extraordinaire.

    Now 31, he has proved his ability to knock down the three-ball, despite standing at 6'11". Having played for the Suns since 2009-10, he should be a player that GM David Griffin knows quite well from his own time in the Phoenix front office.

    Signing Frye would help the Cavs spread the floor and give a target to drive-and-kick guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. In his eight professional seasons, Frye has shot 38.5 percent from deep.

No. 6: Trevor Ariza, SF, Washington Wizards

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 35.4 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Unrestricted

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports claims that the Cavaliers have "significant interest" in Ariza.

    He blended in beautifully alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal while helping carry the Washington Wizards to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    While he looks tempting on paper, the Cavs should be wary of handing him a big payday.

    The last time Cleveland threw money at a journeyman based on one good season of production, Jarrett Jack happened. (Seriously, $25 million for an 11.57 player efficiency rating?)

    Although Ariza is just 29, he's already played for six different teams, spending no more than three seasons with any one organization.

    Sure, he would help the Cavs, but at what cost?

    If he wants anything north of $6 to $7 million annually, Cleveland would be wise to pass.

No. 5: Spencer Hawes, C, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 blocks, 30.9 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Unrestricted

    While Luol Deng is expected to leave the Cavs via free agency, Hawes could very well be back.

    After all, Griffin's first move after taking over as interim GM in February was trading for Hawes, who helped improve the Cavs offense with his pick-and-pop game.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto predicts that Griffin will attempt to re-sign his original acquisition:

    The Cavs want more shooters. I expect them to bring back unrestricted free agent Spencer Hawes, picked up from Philadelphia during the season. The 7-footer averaged 13.5 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Cavs in 27 games. He shot .448 on 3-point range. He is an excellent passer, and does have some low-post moves.

    If the Cavaliers wish to re-sign Hawes, they may have to work quickly.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports says that he has already met with the Golden State Warriors and is scheduled to meet with Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers.

No. 4: Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Utah Jazz

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 36.4 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Restricted

    Although the Jazz have the right to match any deal that Hayward receives, the Cavaliers are considering making an offer sheet, per Marc Stein of ESPN.

    The former Butler star had an increased role with Utah last season, resulting in many career-best numbers. While his shooting percentages took a hit (41.3 percent field, 30.4 percent three-point), he has traditionally been a very solid marksman from deep (41.5 percent in 2012-13).

    Cleveland could use him at both wing positions. He would give the team an additional ball-handler and playmaker on offense.

    How much is too much for Utah to match in an offer sheet?

    We may soon find out.

No. 3: Greg Monroe, PF/C, Detroit Pistons

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 blocks, 32.8 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Restricted

    Monroe is part of the Pistons' logjam in the post with Josh Smith and Andre Drummond.

    After the signing of Smith, Monroe's points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per 36 minutes all took a dive last season.

    If Detroit can't move Smith, how much will it be willing to spend to keep Monroe?

    The Cavaliers just drafted their small forward of the future in Andrew Wiggins but need a center to build around.

    Cleveland should go hard after Monroe, a solid 6'11", 250-pound bruiser who recently turned 24.

    Marc Stein of ESPN lists the Cavs, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers as teams interested in Monroe.

No. 2: Chandler Parsons, SF, Houston Rockets

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 37.6 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Restricted

    One of the best second-round picks of the past 10 years, Parsons is due a significant raise this summer. The Cavaliers could have taken him 32nd overall in 2011 but decided instead to select Justin Harper before trading him to the Orlando Magic. Parsons went to the Rockets six picks later.

    While so much attention is paid to James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston, Parsons has quietly become one of the best overall talents in the league.

    At 6'9", he can play either forward position and shot 37.0 percent from deep last season.

    Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports that the Cavs are expected to make a run at Parsons.

No. 1: LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat

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    2013-14 Stats Per Game: 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 37.7 minutes

    Free-Agent Type: Unrestricted

    Forget the previous history—James should be the main target of any NBA team with enough cap space.

    Emotions aside, the Cavaliers are expected to make a run at James, says Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal:

    They have been preparing for months, even years, for this moment. They know any team that gets in front of him will lay out a plan of how they’ll win with him, how they’ll surround him with top talent and how they can win titles together. But the Cavs privately feel they can separate themselves in two key areas: This area is still home to him, and Dan Gilbert is willing to cut any check necessary to help the team win.

    While Cleveland may still be a few years away from contending for a championship, it's safe to say they would immediately become one of the best in the Eastern Conference with James on board.

    Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins will both be Cavaliers until at least 2019. Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Anthony Bennett are all young and have multiple years left on their deals.

    That's a lot of young, yet still unproven, talent.

    If the Cavs can somehow package it for an existing star, James may give Cleveland a second look.

     

    -GS

    All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.